Rick Santos, President and CEO


Richard L. Santos is the President and CEO of Church World Service. Rick has spent more than three decades working in the relief, development and displacement sectors and has been a senior nonprofit executive for the last 15 years.

Before returning to CWS as its President and CEO in 2021, Rick previous served as the President and CEO of IMA World Health, a faith-based public health organization that he led through several strategic pivots to achieve significant growth in both impact and revenue.

Earlier in his career, Rick spent more than a decade on the CWS staff. He began as a Program Officer in Vietnam before rising through the ranks to eventually become Director of the Social and Economic Development program. He went on to serve as the Director of Communication and Advocacy at International Relief and Development before joining IMA World Health as CEO.

In total, Rick has more than 30 years of experience working for and with faith-based organizations, including more than a decade of living and working in Asia. Rick is an expert in engaging and partnering with civil society in the development process, and his developmental approach includes building and prioritizing robust local and regional partnerships—communities, organizations, and networks. He has spent much of his career supporting local organizations to become independent and self-sufficient. As the President and CEO of CWS, Rick has led the organization through significant growth, primarily in addressing forced displacement.

Rick continues to support innovative non-profits through governance and voluntary commitments. He serves on the Board of Directors for InterAction, The Interchurch Center, Voice for Refuge Action Fund and Christian Connections for International Health. He has previously served as the Chair of the Board of the Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local Communities, a member of the GAVI Civil Society Steering Committee, a fellow at InterAction, and by supporting the leadership of the African Christian Health Associations Platform.

Rick holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Johns Hopkins University’s Carey Business School, a Master of Theological Studies degree from Harvard Divinity School, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from George Washington University.

For press inquiries or to speak to Rick, please contact media@cwsglobal.org.